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Pick Your Battles – As Seen in a Commercial

January 29, 2018

In life we have to decide which battles to fight and which to leave to others. We need to learn which battles are ours and which belong to others. Often we allow the urgent to leap ahead of the important on our priority list. We are forever pursuing the latest trendy battles rather than the ones we should be fighting.

In the commercial below a certain “eco-warrior” tries to fight every popular battle: saving the whales, the trees, the ice caps, and so forth. In doing so, she ends up harming not only herself, but also even some of the very things she seeks to save. She also discovers that not everything she thinks needs saving thinks it needs saving.

Let’s skip the politics and consider that in life we need to discern which battles to fight by asking questions. Is this my battle? Is the battle reasonably winnable given my gifts and talents? Am I really the best equipped to aid in this cause or are others better suited? And above all, does God want this of me?

We discern things like this best with the help of others we trust and based on our state in life and on our understanding of our individual gifts and talents.

Tomorrow I will post an article on discernment to further develop these ideas. For now, enjoy the commercial.

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Comments (4)

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  1. Christina says:

    Monsignor,

    Awaiting tomorrow’s article. I really need help now with this kind of discernment. I never thought about the question of whether the battle is winnable given my gifts and talents. Reflecting on this, in my case, I don’t think that it is. What does one do in such a case? Also, I don’t know if it’s God’s will that I’m following in either case (contnuing to be involved or disengaging). Your thoughts and guidance is most appreciated. You already have me thinking about whether I’m best equipped to aid in this matter. How do I know what God wants me to do? I pray but I fear I might be going down the wrong path. I think that your questions and tomorrows article may point the way for me (and others).

  2. nl says:

    Thank you, Msgr Pope, for raising this topic.

    It seems that there are “battles” where we must engage and must not be silent as convenient as that might be. It is our general and/or particular calling to advance the cause.

    It seems that there are times when we must hold back from engaging and be silent lest we “cast pearls before swine” and get hurt in the process.

  3. Maria says:

    There are some battles that are not worth fighting (e.g. proving we are right and someone else is wrong)….but I believe caring for people, loving them, and doing God’s Will should always be battles we fight for. I believe Jesus wants us to be courageous and get back in the fight, even if we get hurt or knocked down. After all, isn’t that what He did for us? Is not His Heart open, yes wounded, but still open? Rest if we must, but we must persevere the best we can with God’s grace. There are many hurting people out there who need to meet Jesus in people like you and I. And, did not Jesus say, whatever you did to the least of these you did it to Me? (Matthew 25)

  4. Susan says:

    We should not forget what St. Teresa of Calcutta said, “God has not called me to be successful; He has called me to be faithful.” God is our strength and the battle is the Lord’s. But what type of battle is the Monsignor is talking about? I too look forward to the next article.